Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This is a four-province tour dated June 1 – 6, 2002 in the part of Mindanao, Philippines. Personally, I considered this an achievement to visit Tawi-tawi, Jolo and Basilan. It somewhat changed my bad impressions about these places overplayed by the media as high risk and no-go areas. I could vouch that the people of Tawi-tawi in particular are fun and peace-loving people. Christians and Muslims there live in harmony as I witnessed in the parties I was invited to attend with.

I started the trip on June 1, 2002 boarding a Superferry 5 in Pier 4, North Harbor, Manila at 10:00 A.M. and arrived in Zamboanga City on June 2, 2002 at 6:00 P.M. My trip has not been boring at all for my acquaintance friends, Poliver Aglipay Obinque of Zamboanga City and Dudin Raguia Masukat of Cotabato City were with me. I was in Bongao, Tawi-tawi for June 3 and 4, 2002 where I boarded a round trip through the fast craft Weesam Express 5 and I stayed in the branch manager’s residence of PNB Tawi-tawi Branch. The branch’s officers and staff were so hospitable that they were the ones who offered my free accommodation. Their names still ring to my mind as: Sing Ty, Rose Tangkusan, Jess Budlong, Leng Marquez, Quennie Asaali, Edwin de Guzman, Boy Kalbit, Jun Raymonde, Dodong Budlong, Rudy Nhogo and Dodong Pabellaran. My June 5 Jolo trip was arranged by Aileen Inding, the branch accountant of PNB Jolo Branch where I boarded a round trip with Weesam Express 1. It was Poliver Obingue who served as my tour guide and photographer in my June 6 Basilan and Zamboanga City tour. We boarded a round trip in RS Express Ferry in going to Isabela City of Basilan.

I was actually based in Zamboanga City where I stayed in a backpacker’s inn My trips to the islands of Tawi-tawi, Basilan and Sulu were on three separate occasions where I have to go back to Zamboanga City before I can pursue another island trip. While in Bongao of Tawi-tawi, I enjoyed the company of PNB Tawi-tawi Branch where I stayed in branch manager’s house. I scaled Bongao’s Peak, the highest point of Bongao Island which is next to the biggest island of Tawi-tawi where its capital municipality Panglima Sugala is located. I met there some friends from the Philippine Marine Group and enjoyed the beaches from the outskirts of the Bongao’s town. I was able to attend festive and big parties in every night of my 3-day stay. The Jolo (Sulu) and Isabela City (Basilan) tours were only day trips where I was hosted by each PNB Branch located in those respective places. I was absolutely amazed with golden doomed Grand Mosque in Jolo.

I spent few of my evenings in Zamboanga City together with Poliver Obinque who also joined me in Basilan trip. The only good memories I have in Zamboanga City was when Poliver brought me to the Pasonanca park and had a good swim there. Then we visited the cathedral and had branch signage picture taking of PNB Tetuan and Climaco branches. Then, we normally hop from one restaurant to another to feast on their cheap seafoods. No, I did not have any bar hopping since I do not drink wines and liquors.

No comments:

Post a Comment